BYU joins up with Poinsettia Bowl

PROVO, Utah -- BYU has lined up a spot in the Poinsettia Bowl for 2015 -- if the Cougars are eligible for the postseason -- and agreed to a three-game regular-season series with Southern California.

BYU also announced Wednesday that it had agreed to a new contract with coach Bronco Mendenhall that runs through the 2016 season.

The Cougars played in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego last season for the first time and beat San Diego State 23-6, though BYU has a long history of playing postseason games in the area. The Cougars appeared in the Holiday Bowl 11 times from 1978-93.

The Poinsettia Bowl, sponsored by San Diego Credit Union, is eight years old and -- like the Holiday Bowl -- is played in Qualcomm Stadium, home of the NFL's Chargers.

The deal with the Poinsettia Bowl also gives BYU a spot in the in the game in another still to be determined season.

BYU's series with USC begins in 2019 with the Trojans coming to LaVell Edwards Stadium on Sept. 14. The Cougars are slated to visit the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Thanksgiving weekends in 2012 and 2023.

BYU and USC have met twice before, with the Trojans winning in 2003 and 2004.

Mendenhall, a Utah native, took over the next season and has led BYU to a 74-29 record, including eight consecutive seasons appearing in bowl games. The Cougars are 6-2 in bowls under Mendenhall.

"BYU is a special place and this is a special time," Mendenhall said. "I'm excited to build on the success of our program over past eight years, and I think there's much more that we can accomplish at BYU."